How to handle tough client conversations and save the relationship

chess

Being a solopreneur is a lot of fun. You almost always get to make your own schedule, wear whatever you want, reject projects that aren’t a good fit, not drive during rush hour…it’s an all-around pretty amazing job. Except when it’s not, like when you have to have a tough conversation with a client because: What they want to do is going to cost them more money They’re unhappy with the bill They don’t like your proofs You’re not going

The 3 most important factors in naming your business

journey

Naming your business is probably the single most challenging task in creating a business – and career – you love. Despite an internet overflowing with business naming advice and a wealth of creative ability, most of us creative entrepreneurs (myself included – read my naming story here) struggle, fret, cry, lose sleep, and admit utter defeat before finally finding the perfect name…sometimes months or years later. And for many of you, I know you’re still hunting for the perfect name

How to negotiate with clients (or anyone) like a pro this year

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 11.02.44 PM

Negotiations always give me the jitters. Am I proposing a fair deal? Am I about to get swindled? Should I look elsewhere? Am I going to lose this project? Is this client going to be more stress than they’re worth? Etc. etc. I think partly that’s because I’ve never been good at reading people; maybe I’m too honest, naive, or just plain oblivious. But I also believe it’s because the art of negotiation is rarely taught in school (no matter

Why repeatedly bending over backwards for a client can actually hurt your relationship

bend-over-backwards

Do you have that one client (okay, maybe three?!) that’s habitually totally unorganized and needing something big last week? The one that asks for an entire PowerPoint presentation for tomorrow’s 8am meeting? (Just 20 slides, I swear! 85 slides later…) Or that calls on Friday at 4:30pm to request a “quick” icon set for Monday morning’s software upgrade? I’m talking about the client that always exhibits this behavior, not the client with one rare instance when they dropped the ball.

8 Quick tips to improve client relationships overnight

happy clients

Y’know that guy – one of your peers who always seems to get the very best clients? He who: Never has a problem with late payments. Doesn’t have to haggle pricing on rush projects. Makes handling a client misunderstanding sound like a stroll in the park. That guy may very well have good luck in finding clients, but chances are he’s great at forming relationships with them, too. He knows how to become more than just a Photoshop guru or

How I created a simple pricing process that removed stress and boosted profits

pricing strategy

Pricing is super-hard. You’re thrilled that someone wants to hire you, and then you obsess over creating a proposal. And before you even get to the panicky part about what the client will think about the final numbers, you have to actually determine what final number feels right to you. For longer than I’d like to admit, I sort of just picked a number that sounded good to me without a ton of justification. Sure, I kind of did a

How to build a stellar portfolio to land your very first freelance gig

laptop

Deciding to jump into freelancing is an awesome, scary, exciting rush of emotions. Unless you have money set aside, you’re probably still working your “regular” job until things really take off, but you’re ready… …all except for one thing: you don’t have any clients. (So your portfolio’s probably a bit thin, too.) How do you present a professional portfolio with only personal and student work (and if you’re lucky, one or two pieces from your current job)? How do you

11 Free must-have WordPress plugins that make client customizations super simple

WordPress plugins

Fellow WordPress designers and developers: Doesn’t it just make your day (week) when you find the handiest new plugin?* Something vetted by someone who has used it before. Something that wraps up a handful of hacked-together plugins into one sweet bundle. Something that will improve your efficiency and speed on at least 3 of your clients’ websites just off the top of your head. *Not sure what all this plugin-talk means for you? Check out this post and this post